The ‘bots’ VS Elon Musk, a virtual fight for the purchase of Twitter

Bots are programs that interact with online platforms, or their users, by pretending to be a real user.

AFP/ Agency

CALIFORNIA. The programs of “bots” (robots) that operate artificial accounts on Twitter put the suspense on Elon Musk’s offer for the platform due to the billionaire’s questions about these controversial lines of code.

This type of software is so common and can be such a big problem that tech giants like Meta, Google, and Twitter have dedicated bot removal teams and cybersecurity firms to combat them.

Here’s a closer look at what a “bot” is:

– Human or software? –

At a basic level, “bots” are programs that interact with online platforms, or their users, by pretending to be a real user, explains Tamer Hassan, co-founder and head of cybersecurity company HUMAN.

Malicious bots have become highly sophisticated and are among the biggest cyber threats of the decade, says Hassan, whose firm specializes in distinguishing real people from online software.

The term “bots” on Twitter is often used to describe fake accounts powered by some artificial intelligence that can launch posts and even react to what is posted by other accounts, says independent analyst Rob Enderle.

– Concert tickets, social chaos –

Bots are used in more than three-quarters of online fraud incidents, and can spread socially polarized posts to grab concert tickets and serve as hacking tools, Hassan told AFP.

The question is, what would you do if you could look like a thousand humans?

Across all social platforms, ‘bots’ can be used to spread content in order to influence people’s opinion, direct reactions and can even lead to cybercrimes.”

Bots can be used on networks to spread fake news, misinform real users, lead people to deceptive websites, and make deceptive posts look popular using ‘share’ or ‘like’ features. They can even lead users to financial scams, Hassan added.

Social networks have had ‘bots’ for a long time,” said analyst Enderle. “‘Bots’ have been connected to attempts to influence US elections or even shape views on the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

– The deal with Twitter –

Twitter makes money from advertising, and marketers pay to reach real people, not artificial accounts.

Advertising to bot accounts is not going to have a good close rate because bots don’t buy products,” Enderle said.

If advertisers pay on Twitter a value based on how many people see the ad, and these numbers are inflated because the “bots” simulate online audience, then there is a premium, Enderle added.

If Twitter has a lot more “bots” than it seems, your revenue may take a nosedive when these accounts are exposed and shut down.

Parag Agrawal, chief executive of Twitter, said that less than 5% of active accounts at any given time are “bots”, but such an analysis cannot be replicated independently as it compromises the need to maintain user privacy.

Musk posted that the actual number of “bots” may be four times higher and said that if he were to own the platform one of his priorities would be to get rid of them.

Twitter has rules on automated account actions, including a ban on posting about controversial topics, firing “spam” trying to influence online conversations, and operating through multiple accounts.

The “bots” are known as a problem in social networks to the point that they have made Musk make them a problem in the acquisition process that seems to be “a vehicle to escape the purchase or to get a better price,” he concluded. Ender him.

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The ‘bots’ VS Elon Musk, a virtual fight for the purchase of Twitter